Change Your Self-Perception
How we perceive ourselves, along with the tone and intent of our internal dialogue, shapes our daily lives and experiences. We’re the one person that we truly cannot escape should our relationship with ourselves turn ugly. Usually, though, this form of self-abuse is a habitual way of life, and many people are only minutely aware of how deep its destructive roots actually go. Any strong emotional sensation can be addictive, and while happiness may seem like the preferred emotional addiction, there are throngs of miserable humans who are hooked on emotional pain. Here are a few indicators that you may be an emotional pain junkie.
The Guilt Grip
Guilt, a common form of mental self-abuse, is a behavior many people learn at a very young age. Numerous religions teach their adherents about guilt, and many parents instill this emotion in their children as a part of their moral development. For example, many mom and dads teach their offspring that guilt is the appropriate response for stealing, lying, hurting others or treating them unfairly.
While this emotion is ethical in these circumstances, some people burden themselves with feelings of guilt above and beyond what the situation merits. Carrying around guilt means the person is not willing to forgive themselves. This is not only destructive behavior, but invariably leads to constant emotional pain. The answer is to learn from your mistakes and make peace with them, in whatever manner necessary. Only then can you let go of the iron grip of guilt.
The Repeat Button
Life is full of many experiences, and while it may be the great ones you would choose to relive in your mind, sometimes it’s the destructive memories which often beat their way to the surface. If you find yourself continually reliving specific negative experiences, you are enabling your inner junkie to receive his or her emotional pain “fix.” Find peace with the past and stop beating yourself up over it so that you can clear the way for fresh experiences untainted with emotional baggage.
The Merciless Critic
Perfectionists and individuals of lower self-esteem tend to fall victim to their own inner critic. This internal voice always finds fault with whatever you do and is there to tell you that no matter how great your efforts, you will never be good enough. To be human is to be imperfect, and doing your best is all you can ask of yourself. Whatever the situation, give it your all, and then move on to the next great thing in your life.
Recognizing the signs of mental self-abuse is the only way to turn your life toward a more positive direction. For a wholesome change, try being your biggest fan instead of your own worst enemy!